A VOLUNTEER rescue team was scrambled after a kite skier was reported missing in upper Teesdale.

The missing man was part of a five-strong group from Wylam, Gateshead, who had set off to ski some of the fells on Saturday.

The Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team was called out after the group was caught out by a change in the weather.

Deputy team leader Izzy Barnes said: “The weather suddenly turned from sunshine to thick mist and one of the party became separated from the rest.

“After about an hour, his friends raised the alarm and we and the Penrith team were contacted.”

Rescuers were told the missing man was last seen in the Harwood Common area.

Mrs Barnes added: “When we arrived we were told two of the missing man's friends had gone back on to the fell to search for him. Weather at the time was not good with strong winds and heavy sleet.”

The missing man then found his way to a remote farm house near Alston. However, his two friends were still searching for him.

“As the time they said they would return came and went, we started to deploy 12 team members and a mountain rescue search dog,” added Mrs Barnes.

“Fortunately, soon after, his friends returned to the road and we were able to confirm all missing persons were safe.”